The End & a film

Cannot believe it is now four weeks since we were in the minibus from the hotel to the local IBM office. Today we are here again! Informal but interesting meeting with the management of IBM Morocco, but also with one of the Geo Marketing Leaders who was truly inspiring.

I was so impressed! As a recruiter working out of a small office in a small country I do not often get to meet our execs and Edwin Baba was delightful to listen to. He had so much insight on both Africa and the rest of the world. He could relate to all of us and he gave us the opportunity to ask about the market, the region, the challenges and the opportunities. This man was very carismatic and I was under his spell for the 45 minutes he was in the room!
We are all now aware that goodbye is close! There are many ways of looking at a goodbye. Of course I will be sad to see them all go, to probably never see them again. This group has been almost too good to be true! No arguments, all teams have worked well, treated eachother with respect, kept track on eachother so everybody would be ok.
But I am more happy than sad. The experience that this project has given me, & us, is very different from any other experience I have had. I treasure it, and I hope that I will be able to see things in somewhat different perspectives going forward. For sure I will laugh to my self when I am impatient of time and remember that keeping time just might not be as important to everybody else as it is to me. So maybe I can just relax a little about it.. at least when outside Sweden 🙂
Closing this blog with the warmest greetings to all my new friends, colleagues and contacts. Thank you all for making this voluntary experiene so rewarding. To Sami and Fabian – you have been the very best teammates and I am proud of our project which would not have been the same if it was not for the both of you. Dreamteam 🙂
Spend 3 minutes looking at a video I made about our days.. 🙂

#IBMCSC #morocco6

The project is now delivered

After a long day of waiting we finally delivered our presentation at arround 6. pm. As our project is confidential to our client the audience was small but we had their full attention and the discussions were good. It tooks us almost 3 hours to get throuh it all but since that was due to good discussions it was well spent time. We are actually never nervous that our client would not be happy as he knew most of the deliverables beforehand.

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Found it very cool to have a fancy dinner at Rick’s Café. 🙂
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Dinner with our Director, a very inspiring man. I liked this man from day one and hope that there are many others like him in leading positions in Morocco. His mindset and plans for the country are those of true leader!

After the presentation he took us to a late dinner at the famous Rick’s Cafe which was a very pleasent experience. We all know that the Casablanca movie was not actually shot in these premises but the atmosphere took us right into the movie anyway and it is a wonderful idea to create this restaurang as it is a great tourist attraction and not easy to get a table as it is very popular.

#IBMCSC  #morocco6

Community day

DSC_1876All projects are delivered and we are more or less done. A few meetings with IBM management and some of us have some last meetings with our clients, but most of us are completely done.
Last project on the agenda is the community day at one of the Casablanca universities. Jordan, one of our consultants, had a great idea that we all agreed would work great with the students. The day is about being innovative and the excercise is about redesigning a shopping cart. An object that everybody knows and that has looked the same for many years. How could this be improved if you try to think out of the box?
Approx 70 students turned up and after Jordans initial presentation we were divided into groups of 10 and we started the workshop. It was somewhat challenging as their English was at very different levels. I did not have many in my group that were eager to speak English in the beginning. But they softened up and we had some good discussions. The ideas were great and innovative and we had good laughs and thanks to our local IBMer Nabil who could translate when I did not get the whole point we could successfully deliver our idea.
I never studied French and only spoke a few words before coming here, but it is amazing how much you can pick up in a short while. As long as you know what the conversation is about you can use body language and you might not understand everything but you get the context and can have a meaningful conversation.
After the workshop t became a full scale photo session! Everybody wanted our photoes, our email adresses, contact details. Group photoes and photoes with us posing with one student after the other. All done in a very friendly and happy way. We felt like popstars and it was a very unusual experience.
I am very glad we got to do this, gave us the possibility to meet young enthusiastic Moroccans and as they seemed to appreciate our presence so much it actually felt like we made a difference.
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#IBMCSC #morocco6

Presentation tomorrow

This morning the first group was all dressed up, a little nervous and on their toes. Today was their presentation day.

Ours is tomorrow. I am not that nervous. We do not have a huge audience to present to as our project is somewhat classified and we have already discussed our findings with our client so we know that we are on the right track.

But still..  it is important that we present it as good as possible. And we will!

Tonight Fabian and I took a taxi down to the beach and spent some time with our cameras. Fabian is a brilliant photographer. I am technically nowhere near him but still enjoy taking photos and just feel the salt, the wind and listen to the sound of the big waves.

Now.. back to the hotel, might read up a little more on the slides… 🙂

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#IBMCSC #morocco6

 

Deliverables!!!

Work is progressing!!  All groups are now confident that they will be able to deliver as per the scope of work statements. Happy days! Discussions on our deliverables are always a topic when we meet for breakfast and for lunch and for dinner. The projects are always present.

As most of our projects are linked together in the way that they are all dealing with employment it is interesting to learn about the others. Two of the groups work in the city and we often meet for lunch. This is a good source for input, sharing ideas and finding new ways of looking at an issue.

Next week is presentation week and as we are also doing a Community day, so time is now limited and our projects are definately in the final phase.

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Looking back only 2,5 week it is difficult to grasp the extremely quick process we have gone through. First to understand and agree on the scope of project. Of course our clients wants as much value as possible, but we are limited by time. Then into collecting data and facts, making sure that we have the full picture and can identify the problem. Next phase.. what is the solution? Think think think, work, discuss, think. And then when we have a solution. Document and make it presentable!   So.. today’s question at the lunchtable was “how many pages are your final presentation by now?  Ours is approx 45 pages, but that is the presentation only. On top of that we have the accompanying files with data and process descriptions and other info that is necessary to the client.  So.. after only 2,5 week we surely have created a lot of valuable information to our clients!

Tonight there will be a meeting in the hotel to report status to our program leaders and then a dinner! Tomorrow is Friday and we are off to Marrakesh for the last weekend trip.

#ibmcsc #morocco6

Weekend trip to Fez

Full team on the trail again. This weekend heading for Fez by train. Jane had organized the whole weekend and we all behaved like a school class walking on a line with all our stuff.  Just getting the tickets was an adventure and we only just made it. Tough job for Fabian who always get the toughest tasks as he is French 🙂

Saturday morning a guide took us all over the medina. Soooo big! After some hours of guiding and being taken to shops the lunch was highly appreciated! Camelburgers on the menu for the brave!

Shopping, walking and more shopping was on the the agenda and we checked out the interesting bars in the area. We were not disappointed!

Sunday was more shopping but also Geocaching. I am extremely pleased that the troops are up for geocaching. I don’t want to push them to do it but they were keen, so we searched and searched and finally with some help from a friendly boy we found the stash-place and were invited for tea and cookies by the friendliest geocache-caretaker ever!

Long train ride back to Casablanca but it all worked out perfectly.. almost… we lost Sami when entering the tram, but found her again and all ended well!

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Carpet shopping…! Somewhat agressive sales method! “Do not argue about the price! A carpet is an investment… for you, for your children.. for the whole family… ”  Well.. not sure about that, but he carpets were lovely!
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My rat loves Nougat!
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Jetteråttan sneaked into the Nougat shop!
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Juani at the Geocaching-hide!
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Beware of the donkey!
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Beauty!! Sami 🙂
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Impressive roof in the mosque
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Julio – Jordan
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Me 🙂
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Kavya, Tani and a donkey  … Donkey to the right!   🙂
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Bangles!!!
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You can buy anything!
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Sarah 🙂
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Masa, Kavya and Tani
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Edwin, Jordan, Juani, Sami and Jane
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Working with the leather… worst job ever!
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The smell is … not nice!
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Need to buy a pair of pointy shoes for my friend back home. They come in all the colors you can imagine, but not the one she wants.
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Resting after shopping!
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Berber-friends!
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Dangerous gorgeous Jane!!!!
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Juani, a blue prince!
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Secret Sami!
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Mysterious Sarah!
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Happy Dani!
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The troops!

 

#IBMCSC  #morocco6

Hard work and belly dancing

Another day of hard work. Went home (home being the hotel) thinking we had been so productive today. Had a good meeting with our client and felt that we were clear on the next steps. No more talking about digging holes! My team is great! I believe we complement eachother very well and today it became so obvious. We know eachother better and it is easy to split the tasks between us. I am now confident we will be able to deliver well and make our client “happier”. He told us a week ago that “if you can deliver this, I will be happy, if you can deliver this I will be happier”. Of course I want our client to be not only happier, but happiest! Let’s hope we can overachieve! That would be my goal!

A meeting with lovely Boutaina at the hotel, fill her in on status of our projects. Always interesting to hear the others, get some comments and speak a little about issues, maybe get some advise. We have two consultants amongst us, Dani and Jordan. They have both been extremely helpful and shares presentations, templates and advise which is very very helpful to us.

Tonight we went out for dinner at moroccan restaurant that had belly dancing. Very impressive dancing by the beautiful girls. I was even more impressed by Jane and Sarah who without hesitation went up and did their own performance.

It was a lovely evening, nice food, much laugther as always. For some reason we had the girlies at one table and the men at the other. Of course the giggling and laughter was louder and better at the womens table. I just sat there and enjoyed looking at all these beautiful young girls, All bright, ambitious and full of life. Being the oldest in our team I am allowed to admire their youth and enthusiasm! Have to love them all!  We are so lucky with our team. Great people all through!

The other table, the men, were maybe a little quieter today, but for sure they enjoyed the belly dancing. There have been several cultural experiences this week. Some of the group members went to a Hammam, and the experience was obviously quite different considering the discussions after. The rest of us are now considering going or not. But I think not going would be missing out on something 🙂

Last but not least – greetings to Jordans parents. He is still behaving well, goes by the nickname of Julio by the ladies and seems to enjoy the attention. He is a darling and you can be proud of him!

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#ibmcsc  #morocco6

Challenges

If my photos from the last days makes it looks like we are on a fancy vacation I better start posting more about the assignment, I assure you – there is nothing vacation-like about our assignment.

We are being challenged! I honestly admit that I this is the most challeging task I have faced. It is on a level I have never worked and I believe the same goes for my colleagues. Our client needs a long term strategy and he clearly has a vision on what his needs are. We have a pretty good vision of the problems he is facing at the moment but we need to look further ahead with “consulty minds” and foresee the necessary organisation he needs to put in place.

There are many things to understand and  – in French!  My supernice teammate Fabian who happens to be French has probably got a headache tonight. Not only does he have to bright and clever but he also needs to translate the information from the people we interview to me and Samy, my Brazilian colleage. Not an easy task. And not easy for us to understand the full picture either. I think this is a huge part of the “development package from #IBMCSC  🙂

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Fabian & Sami on the stairs of CRI.

#morocco6